Poe Dameron #18

Poe Dameron #18

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Angel Unzueta
Colorist: Arif Prianto
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Phil Noto

Poe Dameron #18 sets up a couple interesting little plotlines. There’s the mission to expose the First Order, the mission to find Oddy Muva, and then Oddy’s interrogation by Terex. Each plotline brings up some unexpected turns and plants a few conflicts for upcoming issues. But the question is, how will all of this fit together?

The issue opens on some alien world where Jess, Kare and Suralinda are trying to get intel that will expose how bad the First Order is. They actually manage to get the intel, but a situation unfolds that Jess and Kare can’t turn away from. Rather than reporting the evil they’re witnessing, they decide to try and stop it, and instead accomplish nothing. Suralinda tries to talk them out of it, seeing the big picture but being unaffected by the moral ambiguity of the choices they’d be forced to make, but ends up being captured like everyone else. Up until this point, it’s an interesting look at the gray side of things and how there’s not always a right choice. You can sacrifice your morals and live with something that might haunt you for the rest of your life, but on the plus side, you’ll have helped your cause and the greater good. Or you can do the moral thing, even if it means failing and accomplishing nothing, but at least die with a clear conscience. The deeper ambiguity and case study buried into the story is rather tantalizing. Then Charles Soule amps it up a notch by having Suralinda seemingly turn traitor to save her own neck. Or is she trying to double deal the First Order? That is left unseen and will hopefully prove promising in the upcoming issues.

Then there’s the Oddy Muva story. With the Terex interrogation, Oddy tells Terex that he could save him from the implant in his head, but he won’t because he wants Terex to suffer. It’s an interesting idea, but sadly it doesn’t play out very well in this issue. Part of that is because Terex is brain washed and can’t be tempted by Oddy’s offer, except for a very mysterious shaking of his hand which could hint that part of the offer is making it through to his true self. Regardless, Oddy’s dialog falls flat without Terex being hurt by the taunts. For the conversation to work, Terex has to be able to react and emote. Without responding emotions, it just doesn’t work. Further complicating the matter, Oddy is laughing like a mad man despite the torture as he’s somehow enjoying that Terex is now a slave to the First Order. Again, the performance falls flat since the interaction is one sided, and it also seems off since Oddy has never seemed very brave. If anything, this just make him look like he’s gone insane. The only positive in the whole interaction is the continuing lure that we might see the old Terex come back.

Finally there’s Poe and Snap who are hunting down Oddy. They find his wife who tries to explain to them that despite Oddy’s apparent betrayal, he’s really a hero. Snap doesn’t buy it, but Poe can kinda see how she might believe that. She tells them where Oddy is, which then leads them into Commander Malarus’ hands. This ends the issue as Malarus realizes that she has four members of Black Squadron within her grasp. It might be more suspenseful if we didn’t all know that she’s going to fail and that Black Squadron is just going to win another victory. Alas, we’ll see what happens.

All in all, there’s some interesting parts to this story, some parts that didn’t work. Some parts are predictable and some are surprising. The artwork is pretty good, but the story has me torn. I’m really enjoying the Suralinda storyline, but the Poe storyline has no interest for me whatsoever, and given that this is a Poe Dameron comic series, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Thus, I’m giving this one a two and a half out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.
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